Episode 343 - Zoom Wedding Guest
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on teaching children table manners, zoom weddings, what to include on accommodation cards, and work friend now boss. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about you're welcome. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on seating charts.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social. Could you see that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness,
Speaker 1: mhm
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome
Speaker 1: etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on teaching Children table manners, zoom weddings, what to include on accommodation cards and a question about a work friend becoming your
Speaker 1: boss for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about the absence of your welcome,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on seating charts.
Speaker 1: All that coming up
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: I'm Lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 2: Oh, Dan, there's a special time of year that we're in here in Vermont.
Speaker 1: It really is. And I'm not talking about this morning when I woke up and there were these thick, heavy snow flakes falling everywhere
Speaker 2: there So pretty, so
Speaker 1: pretty, you know, wind blowing. So I was, like, gusting around and then out across the road in an apple tree was a robin. So I'm looking like, through this blizzard condition and then
Speaker 1: just a sign of light on a branch. Exactly. Is this little indication that I shouldn't believe my lying eyes that spring is Actually
Speaker 2: it is. It is. And a story that you had from the weekend to me is the sure sign of spring in Vermont because you went to a sugar shack and you went maple syrup ng. How do we do? We verb. We turn that into a
Speaker 1: verb. Sugaring
Speaker 2: We went sugar and sugaring. That's right. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
Speaker 2: Um but you kind of had a cool Interesting. I would call it pandemic maple sugaring this year. That was a little bit different. You don't tell everyone about it.
Speaker 1: Well, so the day all began with the the usual chitter chatter up on the top of Paul under road as people were coming and going, you know, one person came and went from the Sugar shack way up in the woods, up above our house and this little sugaring operation has grown up into a,
Speaker 1: I'd say, a high end, small scale sugaring operation, which means that they're not producing commercial quantities of maple syrup. This really is, uh, an operation for friends and family
Speaker 2: and the home brew Home grow version, but of maple syrup well
Speaker 1: described exactly. But it's also really exciting on the days when they're boiling because you can go up and hang out around the
Speaker 1: Sugar Shack, the whole operation, the Sugar Shack and when. When the sap is boiling, it moves through the system of baffles, and the smell of maple syrup starts to
Speaker 1: just be everywhere and all present, and there's a fire going. So there's a attending of the fire that's a part of the process also,
Speaker 1: and I've been wanting to introduce the girls. I just knew that they would love it and issue an aria if we could get up there. But it's a bit of a hike. So this is the part of store I hadn't told you. Yeah, Lizzie, which is that I
Speaker 1: took the riding mower to put a put like a mulch cart on the back of the riding mower and just, like, headed off into the woods. And I think I got a few laughs when I showed up on the riding
Speaker 2: mower. Oh my gosh, Get this man in a TV a four wheeler, as I please.
Speaker 1: I know it was really silly.
Speaker 2: Sorry, I'm just imagining what they thought of you. I know they thought it was awesome and funny, but it's the funny side of awesome for sure.
Speaker 1: Jimmy came out just to see what I had arrived
Speaker 2: in
Speaker 1: anyway. So it's like a winding road and you're going up through the woods. It's pretty steep, and you kind of like break out into these meadows, where you come up towards a hilltop where the camp is, and
Speaker 1: as you come up through the meadows there, a couple of apple trees and then you come up over a rise and I'm in my little more. And as you come up over the rise, you can see the camp. You can start to smell the maple syrup.
Speaker 1: It's like in the air.
Speaker 2: It's sweet, sticky suit, just
Speaker 1: awesome. Anyway, so we rolled up to the Sugar Shack on R riding
Speaker 2: mower at all of like a quarter mile
Speaker 1: an hour?
Speaker 1: Yes, and I realized we didn't have masks,
Speaker 1: really left the house, and Pooja had gathered up our coats and stuff and they put him in the cart.
Speaker 1: But she thought I had masks. I thought she had masks and we were
Speaker 1: just really disappointed. Yeah,
Speaker 1: it turned out that in my coat pocket I had a couple. Well, first I had one that I knew was there. That's like the old, like, crumpled up one that you keep in the bottom of your pocket.
Speaker 2: Keep forgetting to put in the laundry yet.
Speaker 1: But then I found in my other pocket of kids mask. So we had to. We had one for a parent, one for a kid. There were four of us. And
Speaker 1: there we are in, like, the middle of the woods in Vermont. All of like, you know, six people total and we're cycling mask so that we could go inside and hang out with each other. And at first I felt silly, even making that much of a production out of it until one of the two guys that was working there told me how much he appreciated that we were making the effort that it was something they were really trying to be careful about
Speaker 1: and that we didn't see
Speaker 2: that it wasn't like the four of you in there and it wasn't like, just oh, forget the mass just because it's convenient, we don't have them. Oh, it's no big. No one was doing the excuse their way out of it thing.
Speaker 1: Yeah, exactly. And and maybe you might have said on either side of the equation. Oh,
Speaker 1: like these people wouldn't want to do this or it would be fine. And
Speaker 1: in both of those cases, that wasn't the case. Both groups of people were really much more comfortable with that effort being made. And
Speaker 1: it was so nice. And it was It was nice to hear that from them because I was feeling silly that we were maybe not being as at ease as we might have been otherwise.
Speaker 2: Sure, and that's even coming from someone who's been. I mean you. I have never heard you describe yourself feeling silly about that kind of protective equipment
Speaker 2: to have you at the point where you would think, Oh, is this Am I being too much
Speaker 2: like It must have felt like a very safe environment. You know what I mean? Like it. I just wouldn't picture you as someone who would even question the silliness of it. I could totally see how in a in a shack in the middle of the woods when you haven't been in a store in over a year and neither of your kids or your wife and everybody else is, like,
Speaker 2: you know, not far off that beat to like that. It could feel silly, but I'm just I'm glad.
Speaker 2: I'm glad it didn't to anybody and that the reaction you received was Thank you so much. This actually matters to our family.
Speaker 1: We appreciate it. And when you get here and you see us not wearing masks we've been working together in this space for a month and a half. We've reached a certain accommodation.
Speaker 2: So they explained that about their own behavior.
Speaker 1: Exactly. I'll tell you, though, and this is all to the good because it allowed us to get to that point in the visit where we do the nod over the setup and all the improvements that have been made and all we got offered to taste the poor, which is a very special moment when you get encouraged to drink maple syrup. And my little girls just did not know what to do when they got handed the jar and the instruction was to go ahead and drink. Just try,
Speaker 2: so you had to convince them to try the sugar.
Speaker 2: Wait, I'm confused. These are these are tiny dots. Did they not believe you that you could really drink syrup?
Speaker 1: Anisha got it pretty quick. She got that. The permission was granted a dove in Aria thought the whole thing, like felt a little suspect. But once that first little bit, you know, touched her lips.
Speaker 2: I had a hard time when our remember years and years ago when there was a big question mark over the purity of Vermont maple syrup. And I believe it was like one of our Either our governor or one of our senators
Speaker 2: actually, like, drank a glass of it on camera at a press conference and that it's still I won't lie. I apologize for saying this over the air. It makes me gag a little bit. It just it's it's a lot. It's a lot
Speaker 2: syrup, but and I can only imagine the sugar high afterwards. My goodness.
Speaker 2: Um, but I remember my question to you was so did did you get like, did they also have pickles? Because that's like a Vermont tradition is to drink your syrup. Still hard to say with with a pickle because that briny,
Speaker 2: sour salt, like, just so accompanies. That's super super sweet and it cuts through that sweet Really well.
Speaker 1: So many people didn't do pickles, and we didn't do the hard boiled eggs that you can boil in the
Speaker 2: I don't know about that one. I didn't know that one.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and then the other one. You can also like if you bring like, a restaurant, ramic, and you wouldn't put them right in there. But you can also do like hot dogs or, um,
Speaker 2: you had said poo. Josh, do we need to bring up hot dogs like she knew that that was like a traditional thing that sometimes happens in a sugar
Speaker 1: shack. Although, I'll tell you, this is a very modern convenience. The improvements have been made.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: three years ago, we were all standing around outside. Now it's all enclosed. There's an instapot
Speaker 2: cooking. They've upped. They've upped their game.
Speaker 1: Every might even be a space heater tucked away somewhere. I don't know.
Speaker 2: Well, I want to thank you because that is, it really is a super part of Vermont spring tradition, and it's it's really fun living here in town. You know, I don't get out to the sugar shacks. I haven't been to one in a long time, and it was really fun to hear about your experience and and to live vicariously through it,
Speaker 2: minus the sugar
Speaker 1: high. Well, thank you for letting me relive it.
Speaker 2: Okay, so here's Here's the big etiquette question. You've gone up, you've sampled the syrup. You spent time doing it. Did they give you any? Do you ask for any? Where's the etiquette of the of the of the batch, you know,
Speaker 1: well established, It's a year tradition. Um, at some point, there will be a small package left on our front door and my parents front door. The O'Briens are so kind. They always share a couple gallons with us.
Speaker 2: That is so Vermont. I love hearing. I love hearing it.
Speaker 2: Definitely, Dan, that helps to keep this spring suite
Speaker 2: mhm
Speaker 1: well before I head upstairs to Tall Stack of pancakes show we get to some
Speaker 2: questions. Yeah, let's do
Speaker 1: that. Let's do it. Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just remember, use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question is titled Tiny Table Manners, which just sounds so cute. Hi, Lizzie and Dan, I want to thank you for highlighting Emily Post's Children are people. I found a first edition and have been astounded. I know right by how relevant and insightful her advices. Even today.
Speaker 2: I have a 3.5 year old daughter, and my husband and I disagree about teaching her table manners and social graces. We are type a hard chargers and have worked to tone ourselves down and give her the independence she needs to thrive.
Speaker 2: But I'm confused about when we start training her to eat at the table. I'm doing my best to model good behavior. It has worked in terms of dinner conversation? She asks sweetly. How was your day, Mama?
Speaker 2: It has been I know right? It has not worked in terms of staying seated, keeping her mouth closed, not jumping around, banging her spoon on the table, etcetera.
Speaker 2: My husband says, I'll squash her spirit. She is full of energy and excitement.
Speaker 2: Is it unreasonable to expect manners at this age? When and how should I start? Thank you for any advice. Erica,
Speaker 1: Erica, Thank you so much for this question. I want you to know that I could probably have written this question and sign my name to it and sent it back to
Speaker 2: you the same same with me about my nephew.
Speaker 1: In some ways, it's the spirit. I want to approach this question in that
Speaker 1: it's not easy to teach table manners and figuring out how to do it in the right moments and at what sort of developmental stage at what level of capability it's appropriate to introduce what is.
Speaker 1: It's the trick of parenting. It's the delightful and hard work.
Speaker 1: So first off, I want to give you a few etiquette gold stars. Um, bravo for looking at yourself first and thinking about, um, the kind of person that you are, how you communicate, how you teach what you like and thinking about how that works with your child or any child. I just think that is such a great place to start from.
Speaker 1: And the idea that you're aware that you don't want to impose adult discipline on a child is something that I also see coming out here, which I really like and appreciate. There's a real awareness of
Speaker 1: the fact that kids are just kids, and that's probably the most important thing to keep in mind.
Speaker 1: The modeling of good behavior also just so key. And
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: sort of said victory while Lizzie was reading because it is so satisfying when your little girl says you're welcome or whatever it is that you've been working on and you hear them take that on and embody that it's so satisfying,
Speaker 2: it really is
Speaker 1: you. Then bring up the problem. The particular problem of the staying seated and the timing. And this is one of those areas where I
Speaker 1: I want to say this is a particular thing that I wouldn't worry too too much about. It's one of the reasons that it's so hard to take kids that are this age. And by this age I'll say that sort of late toddler
Speaker 1: anywhere from, you know, 2, 2.5 to write up to four or five, where they haven't really started to build that discipline and self control yet. But they've got enough agency and they've got enough capability to move around and get into some trouble. And it's just
Speaker 1: developmentally not the perfect time to be focusing on a long duration of sitting still and being quiet.
Speaker 1: Mhm. So I think take your victories where you can at this stage of development in that you do the good behaviors and you practice the behavior itself, whether it's how you hold the utensil, if he or she is ready for that, or whether it's the conversation that you're really focusing on, if they're ready for that,
Speaker 1: it might be about coming to the table and just being present for long enough to register with the whole family, and maybe it's just staying in that area if they can't sit still in the chair. But you can start to work closer and closer as their capabilities improved to that behavior that you're ultimately looking for.
Speaker 2: This is definitely, like
Speaker 2: long haul behavior teaching, and it's hard, and it is not easy with an excitable child. You know what I mean? Any child. We talk a lot in our Children's etiquette program, our Children's train, the trainer program about how table manners with kids start when you're nursing them. You know when when they're still being bottle fed even, and it's
Speaker 2: it's the idea that you take the time when you're feeding them at any stage in their life to do things like put your phone away
Speaker 2: to sit at that table with them. If it if it makes sense sometimes when you're nursing, you want to be in a more comfortable spot. More quieter spot sometimes, But it's it's about setting up all those expectations,
Speaker 2: but not setting them at the adult level, as as Dan saying, is that you do go for aged appropriateness, but that you're not even
Speaker 2: too early at this stage to be talking about and encouraging these things. The trick is to not let yourself get worn down by the amount of repetition and patients that you have to exercise to get it. I guess the patients is the antidote to that. But to really recognize that
Speaker 2: it's gonna be a long haul to teach your kid these things and to teach them all these things, right? Like even in this example, we've just listed
Speaker 2: staying seated, keeping your mouth closed, not jumping is like, you know, staying seated for the most part and not banging a spoon, even just the three ideas of staying in your seat. Keep your mouth closed when you chew really hard for little kids I've found,
Speaker 2: and they're not banging utensils or, you know, inappropriately using your your utensils or glasses or plate.
Speaker 2: Those are three really hard things to work on like it. It will take a long time for all three of those to become things that feel comfortable on a regular basis or that you're seeing on a regular basis. I can remember one of the little boys that I was babysitting.
Speaker 2: I started with him when he was four. And I stopped working with that family when he was probably seven, going on eight. And it was right at that 6 to 7 where he started to use his fork with more dexterity than before.
Speaker 2: And it's like even that was something that it took all the way up to that age seven, you know, to be able to get there to, like, use your fork. I think the example Dan was he was using his fork to very carefully remove the icing on the inside of the cake. You know, between the layers to eat just that icing.
Speaker 2: But watching him have that much control over the implement was like, I mean, his parents and I were all we were all just like, Oh, my gosh, Look at you Go like, whoa. Like you really have control over this. But again, he was seven. Um, so it takes a long time.
Speaker 1: We've talked some about your grandmother who was famous for teaching table.
Speaker 2: My other grandmother,
Speaker 1: right? And in some ways, was a board, uh, sort of strict
Speaker 1: etiquette maven. Maybe even post more regimented than maybe Emily herself.
Speaker 2: Do you know the story? Right? Do you wanna tell it?
Speaker 1: Uh, well, I I know the apocryphal version that there was a kids table and that you, at some point graduated from the kids table to the adult table and that your first year after that, graduation to the adults table was spent essentially as the guest of honor at the right hand of Granny Pass.
Speaker 1: You got a hand
Speaker 2: of great bass sound. Legendary.
Speaker 1: Received. Well, this is how I, uh This is how the story comes to me a cousin over
Speaker 1: and and that that you were educated in proper table manners by someone who I don't think I've ever referred to his granny Pat before this moment. Your
Speaker 2: grandmother?
Speaker 2: No, you're absolutely right. My mom is one of seven.
Speaker 2: And her mother's way of dealing with raising seven kids was was to to be fairly regimented with things and, um, one of those things with table manners. And they lived in a house that had a fancy dining room, and then it had the kitchen table. And when the kids were growing up,
Speaker 2: uh, you were seven years old when you were invited to sit at the adult table at the right hand of grainy, uh,
Speaker 1: well supervised to
Speaker 2: make more legendary, very well supervised. And she and remember this this wonderful woman did this with seven Children.
Speaker 2: So it was She had seven years almost straight, but not quite of doing this. She had her kids really close together.
Speaker 2: Um, and so it was. There was a she she really went for it. But she spent a year really focusing on that child's table manners when they were seven years old and felt like that, set them on the way. It's going to be different for every family. But the big takeaway from that story, especially that my Aunt Sarah will always always tell, is that
Speaker 2: she's the youngest and that she wasn't seven yet when her older brother was obviously and she was the last kid left every night at the, you know, table in the kitchen and that she had she and she wasn't alone, you know, And this was a family that had, like, nannies and cooks and other helpers of the house, And
Speaker 2: so she ate in there with them or whatever, you know, while they were preparing dessert or something like that. But
Speaker 2: it was the real deal It was like this was the rule. This was how it went. And no amount of pity for the youngest was going to get you into that chair at the right hand of granny fat any faster, especially when it was occupied with your brother who was there. You know what I mean? Having his year of instruction.
Speaker 2: And I'm thinking
Speaker 1: for the purposes of this question that you're talking about
Speaker 1: that not even being a fair expectation of a child till about seven. Yeah, exactly. The reality is that it wasn't going to do Sara any good to get to that adult table a lot sooner than that.
Speaker 2: And I will say that's the part where I want to step away from my grandmother and encourage Erica. To my knowledge, this is not going to extinguish your child's independence
Speaker 2: to start working in some small expectations. Um, even I know do all kinds of different things from setting a timer of just 22 minutes where we're going to sit in our seats
Speaker 2: and we're going to take five bites and that's it. And make that the kind of
Speaker 1: goals right now.
Speaker 2: There you go. There you go. Okay. you see, I don't have kids and I'm even getting it. But
Speaker 2: I think that
Speaker 2: those are the kinds of ways to chip away at along with constantly, uh, you know, exhibiting the behavior that you want from your kid at that mealtime moment. Um, but but small chunk herbal goals that do build up over time and and you'll see it happen. There are some nights where my nephew, who is three going on 3.5,
Speaker 2: will sit for a solid, like 10 minutes while I feed his sister right next to him. And Mom sits and eats a salad. And,
Speaker 2: um, you know, Dad is probably making his own salad, that sort of thing, and then coming to sit and
Speaker 2: do that together. And it's It's not long, but there are some moments where he gets through 10 minutes. There are other times where it's he eats to bite, says he's full. He's running all over. It's like dinner just doesn't really happen. And that is when we all say to ourselves, he's 3.5, you know,
Speaker 2: you know, you don't set it as something that is going to happen and has to happen perfectly every night, and that might be a way to help
Speaker 2: get your partner on board with it is that we aren't expecting perfection out of this. We're expecting to build slowly on something so that a skill becomes natural to them and and not feel like it's a punishment and not feel like it's weird or different from what our normal expectations for ourselves as people in this household are
Speaker 1: so
Speaker 2: classic,
Speaker 2: honestly, like we could talk about this for the whole show. Like Dan, do you think we need to cut ourselves off or or do we have any more to go
Speaker 1: for? But so often, when I find myself at this point in a question where I could go on for another 15 minutes, I find myself really wanting to know what our audience things I would love to hear. Um, what's working for you? What other, um, natural challenge spots. Have you encountered teaching etiquette at different ages and stages?
Speaker 2: Good question,
Speaker 1: but particularly around the table, I'd be I'd be so curious. Um, everyone's got a useful trick or two, and I think we could all learn from each other.
Speaker 1: Erica, thank you so much. for this question. Um, clearly, you've just scratched the surface of a really interesting topic here.
Speaker 1: You may not care much about table manners now, but when you grow up to be me, then you'll care. But why? Why does it matter? For several reasons,
Speaker 1: let's imagine the family at dinner with nobody minding his manners. Not very pretty, is it?
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Virtual Wedding Woes.
Speaker 1: Hi, Dan and Lizzie. I'm a longtime listener but have never written in with a question. My husband and I moved to another country about a year ago and have lost connection with some friends who we appreciate but wouldn't consider close.
Speaker 1: However, just this past month we received two invitations text messages with links to zoom weddings to be held within less than two weeks from the invitation.
Speaker 1: I understand the challenges of covid weddings, but these weddings are not entirely virtual. One of them had around 50 guests and the other one over 100.
Speaker 1: I feel as though since we are now streaming weddings, my friends took the opportunity to cast a wider net for more guests. Cough gifts, cough.
Speaker 1: One of these friends sent me a nice text message inviting me to see the live wedding and saying they would have liked us to be physically present. But it was not possible due to covid. They didn't give us the chance to decide.
Speaker 1: This friend later posted this exact text message to her public Facebook with the link to the live wedding.
Speaker 1: All this to say I did not feel like an appreciated guest with the zoom invitations.
Speaker 1: If these weddings were truly intimate due to Covid 19, I would be flattered by the invitation to participate over Zoom. But having friends host normal weddings and claim they are not able to invite us due to covid feels like an excuse for having us in a B list.
Speaker 1: I am happy to watch the wedding live stream, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable with the expectation to take on the role of a guest and sending in a gift without being an actual guest
Speaker 1: Where I am from. It is socially acceptable to include registry details in the printed formal wedding invitation, though not everyone considers it in good taste.
Speaker 1: However, both invitations over text message made reference to gifts and registries. Hence why this feels like a gift. Grab
Speaker 1: all this to ask. Are the expectations for virtual guests the same as of the physically present guests?
Speaker 1: I fear that after covid, we might have set the expectations on the hosts to low. Yet the expectation of the guests present or not, remain the same.
Speaker 1: Will we ever return to weddings just being for guests instead of being streamed?
Speaker 1: Thank you, folks. Guest
Speaker 2: focused. I have so many thoughts.
Speaker 2: I was like, Damn, you're going to have to hold me back on this. Please chime in at
Speaker 1: any point. What should What should be the word that I should throw out, too, Just like put a pause on the answer so we can,
Speaker 2: like, say, bananas in the middle of it if you need me to stop or something. But like,
Speaker 2: there's there's a lot to unpack here, um, and and so I'm going to kind of do a bunch of it at once and then dissect a lot of it. So the first thing I want to unpack is that virtual weddings do not mean only a virtual experience. Um, it is more often than not, that virtual wedding is happening as a way to obviously include those who can't be there
Speaker 2: but that there is an entire group of people who are there, frankly, and you are watching them experience the in person wedding. When this happens, it's the way that it is. Um, with covid.
Speaker 2: One of the things I noticed in this question was that we just got the virtual wedding invitation. We didn't even get a choice about going to the wedding.
Speaker 2: That happens during the pandemic a lot because they often there was no room for you on that guest list. There were 30 people, 10 people, 12 people, 75 people allowed, and due to family sizes, location of people, whatever it is, you did not make that cut.
Speaker 2: It doesn't necessarily mean that you're a B list. It might mean that being on A B list isn't terribly bad thing either.
Speaker 2: But it doesn't necessarily mean that
Speaker 2: you would have been on that first list anyway. Depends. You know what I mean? Like depending on how big the wedding was, it might mean that we would have loved to have had you in person if we weren't restricted by you know, uh, mandates and orders and things like that,
Speaker 2: so I wouldn't worry so much about I've received a virtual wedding invitation, but I never received the in person one quote unquote to go along with it. There is no real go along with it. Lots of people get invited only
Speaker 2: to the virtual ceremony.
Speaker 2: I think
Speaker 2: that due to the fact that so many people have now been to virtual weddings or understand the idea of a virtual wedding, I think you're going to see them stay.
Speaker 2: I think that they are going to be a thing much like we talked about with baby showers last week that I think they are going to stick around as a way for more people to be able to see the wedding and participate in it if they want to. Where I don't want to see this go
Speaker 2: is to a place
Speaker 2: where it's not that it would be terrible, Dan, I'm definitely going to want your thoughts on this next statement,
Speaker 2: but I'm not sure that I wanted to go to a place where it's like always the thing we do or it's always expected and turns into the kind of thing where
Speaker 2: anyone on your Facebook list has the link, and that includes random people you met at a bar 10 years ago. Along with your very best friend.
Speaker 2: I feel like I have problems with saying this because I worry about ranking people. And yet there are legitimate rankings to the people that we know. Your bestie is not the same as that person I just described that you met once and became Facebook friends with, you know, 10 years ago and aren't really that close to
Speaker 2: and I can see feeling a little under appreciated as a friend or maybe an extended family member
Speaker 2: when you kind of get the same link that everybody else gets, that's like wide open to your very, very wide social media world.
Speaker 2: And at the same time, I could see it just being the way things go, Dan, just on that part alone. What do you think? From an etiquette perspective,
Speaker 1: I hear you. In some ways, I don't feel like there's any way you could
Speaker 1: offer,
Speaker 1: like a general viewing link for your wedding to the whole world, which is essentially to me. What putting it on your Facebook is without creating some kind of confusion about that like, what exactly is this like? If if I was seeing it and I wasn't specifically invited, I would wonder how exactly I was expected to participate. And on the on the flip side, if I felt like I was more specifically invited
Speaker 1: and I saw that exact same message going out to what I thought of as a general audience or a public audience, I would also not know exactly what to make of that. Not feel great. It's awkward,
Speaker 2: like and and our focus as, you know, I felt
Speaker 2: it. I didn't feel like an appreciated guest with that kind of a situation around it. So
Speaker 2: what I'm hearing here, Dan, is that hosts and and couples do need to take care when they are issuing virtual invitations that you might have sort of the desire to put it all out there on on the Big world, you know, before everyone post,
Speaker 2: but then probably don't make such direct and
Speaker 2: personal outreaches to other folks. Maybe because what I feel here is the disconnect between I received a message directly to me, which felt nice. One of these friends sent me a nice text message inviting me to see the live wedding and, you know, virtually
Speaker 2: and then later that exact same message goes up to the whole world.
Speaker 2: I would probably just advise Host to be putting that message up to the whole either the whole world or the smaller friend group, but not both. Maybe
Speaker 1: I think taking
Speaker 1: as much care as you possibly can make so much sense when you're diverting from really standard traditional expectations like we have been for the last year.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: Lizzie in particular.
Speaker 1: What do we make of the texted
Speaker 1: invitation? I'm going to put in quotation marks with registry information attached?
Speaker 2: We think it is. It is wrong by a lot of a lot of counts and our question. Askar notes that where they are from, its really acceptable to include registry details on the printed formal wedding invitation
Speaker 2: from the Emily Post perspective. We don't advise doing that from we say that it often,
Speaker 2: um, sort of cuts the invitation from being about inviting the person to being about the gifts that the person's quote unquote obligated to give and that while it can seem really helpful because you know you're creating that obligation. So here let me get you to a registry to help make it easier. And that's the job of the registry.
Speaker 2: Um, that that we see attacked a moment of tact that you can take by not putting it on the invitation when we go to something like a virtual event, Um, I And here is where I am sure, someone is listening to our backlog from like almost a year ago, and I'll be curious what we said back then. But
Speaker 2: for that virtual wedding, if there was no way that you were invited to the in person version of it, I don't think you have to send a gift. I think you should. I think you should send your well wishes to the couple in some way, shape or form.
Speaker 2: But I don't think it requires a gift. So I've got to say this whole registry included in the text message Don't do it unless the guest says, Hey, you know it's a virtual wedding, but I still love to get you a gift and
Speaker 2: buy virtual wedding again. We mean that there is a full on in person version of the wedding that's happened happening, and you are just being invited to stream into it.
Speaker 2: This is not for the couples who they are only doing a virtual wedding. Nobody is with them, you know what I mean? That would be a different circumstance where it's not where I would say they were then required to get gifts. But I would, especially as a close family member or friend.
Speaker 2: And no, there is no in person thing happening at all that I would feel confident, saying Go ahead and send the gift. But for this, don't you know hosts? Don't send the link with the text message or a Facebook message or Facebook Public post to your registry? No, no, no, no, no, no.
Speaker 2: I would not do that. I think that's I think, exactly why Focused is feeling like, This is and and they say in the in the thing you know, cough, grab for gifts, cough, and it's it's coming across that way.
Speaker 1: Folk guest asked if the latitude that we've extended the host to have such a hard time preparing events right now extended to guests as well and
Speaker 1: they absolutely do. I mean, everyone is taking, um, a more flexible approach to our social obligations at a time of social distancing and physical distancing around a pandemic. And absolutely, that same latitude extends to guests to make a judgment call on something like a virtual.
Speaker 1: And I mean, I
Speaker 2: want to put like the
Speaker 1: air marks quotations around every time I say it invitation that arrives as a text message and to a virtual event that's of a different nature than anything we've experienced or or anything that we're used to experiencing on a regular basis. I think it's so, so reasonable. I really want to affirm that,
Speaker 1: for for our focus to
Speaker 2: maybe isn't such a
Speaker 1: focused
Speaker 2: dan. I definitely agree. And while we don't have 100% solid answers yet on what the future of virtual weddings in the wedding community would be like as we move forward and as we're able to gather in person,
Speaker 2: I can see it being something that we are going to home to flesh out
Speaker 2: to, um, to get more specific about, probably in the next two years, as we see where the trends go with it. But for now,
Speaker 2: I would say I am sorry that this has been your experience focused with these weddings and with the pressure that you feel from them also not kind of balancing out with with the expectations and the host guest roles that are there are hope
Speaker 2: is that as we move forward, it'll start to make a lot more sense, and things will settle into places where they are natural and yet to be redundant. Make more sense.
Speaker 2: Well, Johnny's rude and selfish. He doesn't think of others. He won't take turns,
Speaker 2: and he always seems to be mad at somebody always shot me or bossing us around. You don't think he really wants to be that way, do you?
Speaker 2: Maybe he doesn't mean to be selfish, but he is.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Accommodation Card Conundrum, and it is very short and sweet.
Speaker 2: Our listener asks, Do you include hotel phone numbers on accommodation cards? Thank you very much.
Speaker 1: So can I
Speaker 1: just say
Speaker 2: yes? I think it's a good idea to I know that that typically people are into either links or just the hotel name like the accommodation place name, and that people would put a not a link, but you would just take the name and then research it, you know, like the Biltmore Hotel, Colorado, Boulder, Colorado or something like that. I don't think there is a Biltmore Hotel in Colorado, but you know that you would just do that. But I think putting a phone number on it is, why not? You know, I think you could certainly include that information on a on an accommodation card. It gets sent separately. It's not on the actual invitation. It's an enclosure.
Speaker 1: There are still some people out there that pick up phones and dial phone numbers.
Speaker 2: It's absolutely true. And let's let's be real. It's actually it is really helpful it for for someone who would be thinking to do that, it makes it a lot easier,
Speaker 2: um, than having to go Google the name or number. And if you know that a bunch of your guests aren't very either Internet savvy or just plain don't like having to use
Speaker 2: the wonderful World Wide Web that much. I think that that's a good consideration to take for sure.
Speaker 1: Lizzie Post, Speaking of the Google just to save some of our audience, the effort Could you tell us what an accommodation card is? Exactly?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And it's something that's definitely been overtaken by the wedding website. But an accommodation card would be a list of either hotels that you've already booked room blocks at and have a discount at, or hotels or lodging of any kind
Speaker 2: in the area that's available to guests. So you wouldn't put your friend who's offered her, you know, three bedroom house and isn't going to be around during your wedding as as a place for accommodation, even though that's a place you might help some guests get to if it's available to you. But you would put the local hotels in the area.
Speaker 2: I don't think you have to go so far as to do like Airbnb s and things like that in the area. That would be good. But local hotels, local lodging is all appropriate, and you list the name of the place and also list if there is a block at that place that you've reserved. You would say, you know, mentioned that you're
Speaker 1: part of the,
Speaker 2: you know, Dan and Pooja wedding party or the sending wedding or something like that. But it goes, it goes as we just said, Uh, it's an enclosure, which means that it gets enclosed in the envelope with the wedding invitation and other, um, sometimes travel or, for instance, a registry
Speaker 2: link or other inserts or things like that. Typically, though,
Speaker 2: most people, because they're trying to cut down on the amount of paper that gets sent out, both for cost or for carbon. Most people just put this as a link on their wedding website. It's a page on their wedding website with links directly to
Speaker 1: the hotels. And things like that makes sense. Thank you for the explanation.
Speaker 2: No problem. And thank you Anonymous for the question.
Speaker 1: Oh, manners.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a work friend now, boss and how to navigate.
Speaker 1: Dear Dan and Lizzie, I love your podcast,
Speaker 1: So I have a question about work etiquette.
Speaker 1: My boss used to be a colleague and was even a mentor to me about 10 years back as I obtained my master's degree. We both have similar backgrounds, having grown up in a different area of the country than we currently live and have similar work styles.
Speaker 1: He has a lovely family, and our spouses are also in similar fields, and our kids are the same age.
Speaker 1: When we were colleagues, my family visited his family at his home when he became our boss. No one was more excited for him.
Speaker 1: He is a great boss and enjoys a lot of support among his former colleagues.
Speaker 1: For the past 5 to 7 years, our paths were not as close secondary to his promotion and my projects at work.
Speaker 1: However, in the past nine months we have started to collaborate on several projects during the pandemic. Our visions of innovation and how to move persistently forward resulted in him and I having multiple conversations and him asking me to lead several new initiatives.
Speaker 1: I have never had so much fun, and I'm so grateful that he looked to me. That has been fun working together again.
Speaker 1: But now I am not sure how to relate best to him. I wish that we could gather for dinner or talk a bit more informally, but he is technically my boss now.
Speaker 1: I would love to grow a friendship, especially with his wife. Why equally adore?
Speaker 1: I have been more informal at times speaking like when we were colleagues, and then retreated because I was unsure if I was speaking to informally for a boss.
Speaker 1: I feel like I swing wildly back and forth between being too formal and to informal and can't figure out how to relate to him.
Speaker 1: It just feels complicated.
Speaker 1: He is now my boss, and on top of that, he is a male and I am a female. More awkward, perhaps question mark, but this is a rare person and family that feels like they could be a good friend to laugh and enjoy out of work as well.
Speaker 1: For now, I have settled on. He is the boss, and that needs to supersede all other history. This makes me a bit sad, but perhaps it's the easiest for him in his role.
Speaker 1: Perhaps when we retire, a friendship could be possible. Do you agree, or is there a way that a balance can be obtained? Any guidance is appreciated. Anonymous
Speaker 2: Anonymous This is. It's like it's such a sweet natured question because it's like I want this person that I admire and have been friends with me, my friend, you know?
Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. But I like the respect that you're giving to the relationship and that you are. You're questioning that that's really good. Self, self reflective work and self awareness, work and awareness of your position within a company, that kind of thing.
Speaker 2: And, Dan, I'm going to take a quick crack and then pass this right over here. Please do. I think that the way I would choose to address this would be to talk directly to him and to say, Hey,
Speaker 2: I was wondering if you had a minute to talk about something I've noticed around the office, you know? And then you can say I have loved our working relationship, you know, way prior to these nine months that we've just started working together. But I realized that the positions have changed since we were under that old structure. And I noticed myself
Speaker 2: both wanting to be really familiar with you because of all these things that connect us. And and I like who you are and also being very worried that I'm not respecting you in your position of Boston. I just never want to cross into that disrespect territory
Speaker 2: based on a past relationship that we've had. And by relationship, we mean just good working relationship
Speaker 2: like, Does that sound fair, Dan? Does it sound like a good place to start? Maybe.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. I think that communication open and honest communication is
Speaker 1: often the easiest thing to do and that it's going to get you the best and cleanest results.
Speaker 1: And that's not to say that there isn't a place for, um, tact when we're talking about etiquette or being circumspect and respecting other people's privacy. Um,
Speaker 1: and this is a working relationship. It's close enough that if there's something that's starting to,
Speaker 1: um, create just some some friction even for one party or the other, um, particularly around something that might not be an issue at all that could frankly probably be resolved with a little bit of open communication. I
Speaker 1: I think the rewards are so worth it. And
Speaker 1: one of things I really liked about the sample script that you suggested
Speaker 1: was you were just so explicit about saying I I'm a little confused and I don't ever want to come across as being disrespectful or crossing any boundaries you wouldn't want me to cross. So I'm asking you for some help, some guidance, some direction, and that is such an appropriate thing to ask a boss for
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: it's totally.
Speaker 1: It's also an appropriate thing to ask a good working colleague for but particularly a boss. I think it's okay to even say Could I lean on you to set the parameters here a little bit and I can give you a little bit of information. So you know what I'm asking? Um but I I really like that approach.
Speaker 2: What do you think about the part where this person she wants to she wants to be like friends with this? Like she she had a good time. You know, it's like they we did the the state over at their house and, like our families got along and everything. And like now that we're in contact again, this is someone I would typically want to
Speaker 2: invite over for dinner to go out on a double date with or something like that. And I'm nervous because it's my boss, and that feels awkward. Like, what do you think about the social side of it?
Speaker 1: I think that it is potentially awkward, and it can be difficult to socialize outside of work and maintain a professional work
Speaker 1: relationship or
Speaker 1: hierarchy, and
Speaker 1: it's not impossible. A lot of people choose to do it. I would wait to
Speaker 1: move into that space until I had the conversation about resolving the nature of the
Speaker 1: relationship at work.
Speaker 2: I think that makes a lot of sense, like deal with this one first at work and then, as you've built more time together on this nine month project work, work your way towards that social side again if you want to write,
Speaker 1: and there might be a natural moment where it's easy to cross that bridge, or it might be that it
Speaker 1: kind of studiously doesn't come up. And that might be something that your boss, former coworkers, is managing also, and
Speaker 1: it might be something they're very comfortable with. It might be something that they're not that comfortable with, and I wouldn't necessarily want to push someone to make a decision about that right away.
Speaker 1: Um, particularly I wasn't coming from a place where I felt really balanced and centered already myself.
Speaker 2: If you weren't gonna go for it. Yeah, exactly. You had some questions in your brain. They might be good questions to be asking right.
Speaker 1: I really like the awareness to that. There might be a time for this relationship to develop. That's not right now. Maybe maybe it's not when you retire, but maybe in another six months when you're working on different projects or when
Speaker 1: the particular things that you've been working on together
Speaker 1: aren't happening as much. There might even be an opportune moment as you go on to your next thing to say. It's been such a pleasure working with you. I really enjoyed it. I'd love to stay in touch or I'd love to, um,
Speaker 1: reach out to you periodically. Once upon a time, I really thought of you as a mentor, and I'd love to be able to lean on you again like that. There might just be an opportunity to do a relationship shift as the work shifts at some point also,
Speaker 2: and I think especially once you get that conversation with them about the
Speaker 2: nature of, of how you're speaking to them at work. Um, I think that's once that's under your belt. I think that will also be very telling
Speaker 2: of sort of where things are at, like if if it was Oh, no, you've You've been fine. I've you know, I love the fact that that we're working together to speak to me however you want, like no big deal, like it's it's really been
Speaker 1: okay, likely
Speaker 2: like likely outcome.
Speaker 2: But it's also if that's the answer that I'm getting. You know, I think maybe a couple months from now, when that groove has felt really good,
Speaker 2: that's when I might say, Hey, you know, my husband and I are going to this thing this weekend. Do you guys want to come or and again? We're also dealing with, you know, covid and restrictions and things like that. But I think that once you've, you've, like, kind of settled into that comfort zone where you now also feel more comfortable because you know where that expectation from the bosses
Speaker 2: you'll have a better sense of whether it feels like you could broach a casual Let's get together or, you know, do you want to do a play date with the kids or something like that if you wanted to. And I think if you know that that that boss relationship is casual and friendly and welcoming, I'd feel more encouraged that
Speaker 2: I mean, I can remember like employees that Emily Post over the years, or even my dad's place post script, you know,
Speaker 2: like occasionally choosing to do something with us outside of work. You know what I mean, and it does kind of matter whether it's the boss asking or whether it's the employee asking, but it's obviously not unheard of to, like socialized with people from work outside of work. But I think that first conversation is going to tell you a lot about whether it's going to feel right to ask
Speaker 2: while you're still in this
Speaker 2: boss employee relationship on this project.
Speaker 1: Anonymous Bravo. Good work on the self reflection and the care that you're taking with both professional and social relationships.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you for your questions. We definitely need more questions right now, so please send us your updates, feedback and more questions to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: You can also find us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the
Speaker 1: show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette. Consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ADS free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 1: And to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover. And today we hear from Lisa about the practice of including pronouns in email signatures.
Speaker 1: Dear Dan and Lizzie Thank you for your recommendation to include pronouns with your name in emails to help with correct gender identification
Speaker 1: at my workplace and even in my personal friends practice, we encourage everyone to do this so that it normalizes the practice.
Speaker 1: In addition to being supporting of folks who are trans and non binary, this also helps with people who have ambiguously gendered names as noted, or who have names from a different cultural background than the one in which they commonly interact personally or professionally.
Speaker 1: Some people I know have also added short audio clips of their signature of the correct pronunciation of their name as well
Speaker 1: as always. I do find you both quite awesome. Thank you. And all the Emily Post Institute staff for your work. Sincerely, Lisa,
Speaker 2: I feel like after our last question, we should say,
Speaker 2: Lisa, you're so welcome. And we are so grateful to be able to do this work. So thank you for participating in it with us. How's that for your welcome and thank you, Dan.
Speaker 1: Bravo, Lisa. I have very little else to add, except thank you so much for the feedback. And that's a great tip on maybe including a little audio recording for difficult for names that are difficult for people to pronounce.
Speaker 2: I like that. I like it a lot.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. And please keep them coming. You can send your feedback work. Update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot
Speaker 1: com or leave us a
Speaker 2: voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: Mm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to talk about seating charts,
Speaker 2: which is, like, so the time I know I was going to say And this is like, so the type of thing you think you're going to hear about on Connecticut show. You know,
Speaker 1: it's nice to fulfill expectations. That's nice to meet them every once in a
Speaker 2: while.
Speaker 2: But we are. We are. We're going to talk about seating charts, and we know that it's a slightly visual thing. So much like whenever we talk about invitations or something, we're hoping you can imagine and picture and and and think about all the different scenarios that we might experience this in. But seating charts are super Etiquette E.
Speaker 2: And yet they aren't something where there are super hard and fast rules. And yet the rules aren't so soft, either. It's like they occupy this space. We're
Speaker 1: going to tell you what to do
Speaker 2: now. Yeah, like we're going to tell you what to do. But then there's all these other moments where you might not do it that way. It's very Emily Post etiquette, but
Speaker 2: But I figured one of the first things Dan, that's a really good question for us to answer is when do you need or want a seating chart? And you and I kind of talked about this, how we see it play out in our personal lives and how we see it play out in more formal, formal occasions. But what are your first thoughts about? When when do you need or want a seating chart?
Speaker 1: Well, my big thought is the big one, and it's the place that a lot of people encounter it, which is a wedding event. But it's a big event where you've got a lot of people and you want to bring some
Speaker 1: organization to that. You want certain people certain places, maybe near the front may be where they've got access to other people where they can be seen. For an event like that, there may be a number of considerations, but for any event that size, it can be really helpful.
Speaker 2: And for those events, one of our biggest points or pieces of advice to people making a seating chart for a really large event, whether it's a charity event, whether it's a reception or it's a it's a wedding is to really think about the people that you're seating and have intention behind the placement.
Speaker 2: There's often a lot that a host is trying to balance in that moment
Speaker 2: for the weddings. You hear us often talk about the families that don't get along and where to place people and how, like all the different
Speaker 1: ways that you could
Speaker 2: group people together. Things like you don't try to create a throwaway table that is sometimes joked about in TV sitcoms, but that there's a lot that goes
Speaker 1: into that
Speaker 1: there really is. In fact, it's the major topic for Emily Post's dining etiquette chapter In her first book of etiquette,
Speaker 1: she pays so much attention to thinking about her guests and their personalities and how to mix and match people so they have a good time together. And we we don't often think of that as the etiquette question were
Speaker 1: sort of thinking of more specific details. But that willingness to think about whole people and the experience and the time they're going to have together is a big part of thinking about a seating chart.
Speaker 2: I know that for big events, it makes a lot of sense. It also helps guests feel comfortable and confident knowing what to do in a much bigger group.
Speaker 2: But when we're talking about more like the friend crowd, the people you're comfortable with the people that you would entertain with regularly.
Speaker 2: I feel like there is this difference between throwing a dinner party for that crowd and having folks over for dinner for that crowd. Yes, no Do. Do you, like, Do you catch the formality difference? I feel here
Speaker 1: I do. And I mean, unless it's an event where I've invited people ahead of time in a way that I've got my guest list organized.
Speaker 1: It's not a part of my planning process that I would ever have the place cards ready. Totally. That makes any sense. It's It's a real practical
Speaker 2: thing, right, whereas like, I know that for our our holiday events, even sometimes when it's a smaller, more intimate group,
Speaker 2: that's one place where my mom is. She's the hostess. In this case, Um, she's trying to make it a little bit special, and elevating it to that level of place cards or or seating arrangements adds to that.
Speaker 2: So for me, the differences am I trying to create a more formal event? Or is this me just having casual dinner with friends and just a good a good Friday night? You know what I mean? And in my own personal life, I can remember when I hosted an engagement party for girlfriend and it was a group of all of us girls and we went to my parents' house. I think we've talked about this on the show before,
Speaker 2: but that was one where this is my super casual like, wonderful group of girlfriends. But the co host and I made a seating chart, and we put people around and I feel like what was really great about it was you you still had, like, formality in with the comfort of these people. And I know this doesn't always happen. Sometimes we get invited to dinners or events where we don't know as many people around us.
Speaker 2: But there was something really nice about being formal with my friends. You know,
Speaker 1: absolutely.
Speaker 2: We
Speaker 1: haven't talked a lot about the specific, uh, etiquette around the place card itself, because it's pretty simple. It's going on with your name on it at the seat that you're supposed to sit at and
Speaker 2: the etiquette comes and not switching that right like not tampering with it. If the host
Speaker 1: has made the suggestion didn't even occur to me that you might do such a thing
Speaker 2: that people do that. They try and switch the cards and definitely like the larger the event, the more the temptation is to say, I'm just going to switch these to that other person will never know, like
Speaker 1: I've got to get back into my rule breaking youthful mindset. That's brilliant.
Speaker 1: Oh, wait,
Speaker 2: this wouldn't be something I would do. But I've seen people do it.
Speaker 1: And the only thing that I would add is, if
Speaker 1: you are at a bigger event, having a larger usually like a poster board or some sort of display. I've seen them on flat screen TVs these days, but that show tables and names so that you're not wandering around a larger event space trying to read and find your name.
Speaker 1: But there's somewhere you can go to reference. And, oh, I'm at Table 13 and then you're looking through 12 instead of 140 name tags,
Speaker 2: which definitely helps.
Speaker 1: But let's say that you're in a situation where there aren't any
Speaker 1: place tags at the table. And there's not a big board saying, Oh, go look for a place tag here or there.
Speaker 1: In other words, your host hasn't provided one or you realize that they aren't going to. How do you decide where to sit as a
Speaker 2: guest? Is this Is this a big party or is this a little party? Is this like a big event, or is it like in someone's house?
Speaker 1: Give us the 123 a big
Speaker 2: event at the big event. I would venture to guess that that means open seating. And I would probably try to find someone who might be in the know to just double check with that assumption. You know what I mean?
Speaker 2: But will your brother? His wedding was like this. Where it was all open seating. There was a big buffet. It was kind of like once the food was up, it was Come one, come all and sit where you're comfortable.
Speaker 2: And I remember sues like I think I even checked with the breeders like so do we just sit anywhere? And she was like, Yeah, we want people to feel really comfortable, like just, you know, like going at their own pace, kind of. And so that was the vibe they wanted to create, and it was effective. It did that it did. It had that feel of kind of everyone went at their own pace and found their own place.
Speaker 2: But so so for a big event, if I didn't see it, I would probably double check with someone who might be in the know, or I would kind of hang back a bit and see what other people are doing. But the general assumption. If there is no seating chart, there is no table directory, then yet you find your own spot, and it's fine to group, as you would like.
Speaker 2: Um, sometimes it's nice to mix yourself around people you don't know, and other times it's nice to
Speaker 1: be in the comfort of those who you do know.
Speaker 1: So what about at home? Smaller event, and we're going to say we're not going for that formal feel, so no seating chart, but we're headed to the table.
Speaker 2: We're headed to the table. It was funny. I was talking with a friend of mine about this yesterday as We were thinking about doing this segment and
Speaker 2: I said So It's like open. I posed it just like that. Open seating, casual dinner. No table, I said.
Speaker 2: Where would you sit? And she was like, at the table. And I was like, Well, yes, but where? Until it's full, where? At the table. And she goes, Oh, well, not at the head. And I thought that was so interesting because we're in this casual environment. But the idea of the head of the table was still something people, at least in our conversation. The consensus was that would be an uncomfortable place to just assume a seat.
Speaker 2: But the any other seat on a non round table would feel comfortable and square tables. I don't know how you tell what's the head. It feels like a round table to me where everything is kind of equal spot, you know,
Speaker 1: I know. I have asked, Are there places people usually sit? Yeah, because even if it's not the special head of the table, we get into habits and routines. And sometimes around the family dinner table, there is a place
Speaker 2: seats. Yeah, No, Anna and I totally had our seats growing up. He sits there and a sits there
Speaker 2: and then, you know, goodness, if somebody wants to train up at some point in life
Speaker 1: or
Speaker 2: trade out, I should say,
Speaker 2: But yeah, I think the general consensus is that if it's if it's a rectangular table, you
Speaker 2: you don't sit at the head of the table but that you find a different seat as a guest, at least. But the host might say, Sit anywhere and you also might be in a position where there's only one host and all the other seats are taken in that. The other head of the table is the only other spot. And of course you would then sit there.
Speaker 1: This is something that has changed over time, and I want to talk a little bit about the tradition of how you build a seating chart,
Speaker 1: and we've referenced some of it already, maybe a host sitting at the head of the table or at a seat of honor and then oftentimes placing a guest of honor to there. Right beyond that, what are the other considerations as you're building that seating chart?
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: traditionally we used to describe this as boy girl order is one of the next big considerations are one of the other. I would say it's not really like they're totally in order,
Speaker 2: but one of the other big considerations. And nowadays we just don't feel as confident about that advice that I think it really serves more of our friend groups or if it's in an office dinner, that you've been invited to the office group.
Speaker 2: Um, well, if you're not as concerned about a binary alternating gender, and it doesn't seem to be very inclusive advice,
Speaker 2: Um and so we simply say once, once you've got your hosts in place and you've got any guests of honor, if there are any in place, then it's really about trying to think about who would get along well with each other. I mean, that's one of the responsibilities of a host. Right is to create that good, wonderful experience at the table or with a group. As Dan was saying at the beginning, Emily describes it really well when she's talking about how dinner is given in a great house. Um, you know, and like, who would go well together? Who would enjoy talking with one another? She often says things like, You don't put two talkers together because nobody is listening. You know, you don't put two people who really aren't comfortable talking or, you know, a little more introverted together.
Speaker 2: You don't want them to feel, you know, isolated and quiet, or you're at least trying to play with and think of these things as an edge. Your best guess.
Speaker 1: There's something I noticed her doing a lot in a lot of that sort of planning, which was trying to mix it up a little bit. Yes, she would try to bring some more established couples and some newer couples. She would try to invite somebody who would,
Speaker 1: uh, sort of intellectually stimulate the gathering. An artist, a thinker, Um, but oftentimes it was about
Speaker 1: getting some variety variety in perspective and and part of you,
Speaker 1: I always thought of that boy girl ordering as just a way to mix it up. And that may be another way to think of the direction that you're trying to create an atmosphere in an environment that's
Speaker 1: lively and engaging and not suffocating for anybody.
Speaker 2: Exactly. And in today's environment, we just we eliminate the idea that that binary gender is necessary to making that work well
Speaker 2: in the spirit of mixing it up. One of the other really traditional points that's made about seating charts is to split couples up. And you wouldn't do this to a newly engaged couple. And you also probably wouldn't do this like to a first time meeting like You know what I mean, where it's like
Speaker 2: it's the first time like a new significant other is meeting the group or something like that. I think a lot of times that's a
Speaker 2: That's a moment where you don't want to say someone couldn't handle themselves on their own and assume that, but that it's it's nice for them to have their partner
Speaker 1: that's introducing them to this whole crowd introduced
Speaker 2: exactly, and whether that's a family. Crowder are close friends. Crowd. I think it's nice to kind of keep that couple together, even if they aren't engaged right now.
Speaker 2: Dan, you When you and I talked about this, you were like man, the first, like
Speaker 2: a couple years of my marriage, I wanted to be close to my partner, but now I'm really excited to be seated next to everybody else, and that's not a knock on pooch. You guys are closer than ever, which is why you said it was fun to be around other people.
Speaker 1: And the juicy details from that conversation is that
Speaker 1: I also acknowledge that Putin I had a particularly lovey dovey sort of early relationship, and I feel like that newlywed period where we were very inseparable, maybe
Speaker 1: dragged on a little longer than maybe it does with some couples, anyway. Just wanted to acknowledge that I
Speaker 2: think that's awesome.
Speaker 2: Um, the spirit is to mix things up to stimulate conversation. I will say, as a single person, it is really nice to not just be surrounded by couples who are coupled up together. I feel like I'm
Speaker 2: always only talking to two people like the to merge to one. But the idea of the goal is to mix it up at those smaller, more comfortable, familiar events
Speaker 2: and then to when it comes to couples at a larger event, or, as we said during kind of a new time for them being together to keep them together.
Speaker 2: But we actually we heard feed, but we did a post recently on our instagram about this, and we had we had people pop up with some different reasons for why they would want to be with their partner and some issues for what happens if you don't like the
Speaker 2: the awkward position you're put in if you are upset about and I'm going to add for whatever reason. But this was the reason of being split from their partner the awkwardness of trying to ask a host or let a host know that you're displeased with where you're sitting. And I mean, I don't know about you, Dan, but I like
Speaker 2: I can remember some, like family events were like, No, no, no, Seat me over there. I don't want to be over there, you know? And
Speaker 1: you're being I've never had that. Maybe not so not
Speaker 2: so gracious moment in my head like,
Speaker 2: um, and it's one thing when you're helping to set it up. But But these folks are right. It it is. It would be awkward to ask a host if you could switch.
Speaker 2: There was a situation where the idea is so what if it's about, and I think a lot of people make face feelings of, Well, maybe they won't. Maybe after being cooped up with their partners for a year. They're going to be ready to mix it up at a dinner table.
Speaker 2: But I know a lot of people are concerned about how they're going to feel socially when they're out and about.
Speaker 2: And I think that if you were really concerned to the point where you were anxious about being seated away from your partner for that long, that reaching out to your friend who is the host and saying, Hey, listen, you know, I'm actually really feeling like it would be great if you end up doing a seating chart tonight. If there's any way you could accommodate me, you know, to sit next to my partner,
Speaker 2: it would just it would help me feel so comfortable. I don't know. Does that feel like it would be rude to approach a host like that ahead of time before you're aware of any seating charts?
Speaker 1: I think ahead of times the
Speaker 1: best way to go. I'm not gonna say the only way to go, but it avoids that awkwardness of
Speaker 1: I've put the time in to do it this way, and now I'm changing it on the fly, which is I think that uncomfortable moment that you're trying to avoid so heads up in the same way a heads up around a dietary restriction or other consideration that a host would want to know to better provide for you.
Speaker 1: I've been
Speaker 1: skipping date night for 12 months, and it would be really nice to spend an evening sitting with my partner might be the kind of thing you would mention
Speaker 1: over the phone and replying to an invitation if you knew someone well enough to make that ask
Speaker 2: So Dan. One of the other things that we heard a couple of people mentioned in response to that post was the idea that hosts shouldn't be placed at the heads of a long rectangular table,
Speaker 2: as it puts them, not in the center of the action.
Speaker 2: And I personally just This wasn't something I was getting on board with. In in my realm. The table doesn't have a center. The ends don't feel so far removed from other people. I think if you had a long table with only like 45 guests, I could see how, like then nix the ends of the table. Have everyone sit closer towards the middle together in a grouping
Speaker 2: instead of utilizing the ends of the table. But I don't look at one particular area of the table or one particular host guest combo
Speaker 2: being the star. And I don't think a good host when they're planning that table and really trying to make it a good experience for all, would do that, either. So for me, that was when I heard that piece of advice that was where my brain went, was Let's let's keep working on making the table a really great table altogether so that no one end feels
Speaker 2: less than the
Speaker 1: other. I'm ready to get on board with that egalitarian perspective, and it's something that we've been working toward In the slow moving changes in the tradition of dining,
Speaker 1: the no longer throw is no longer elevated above everyone else. I could see the first. The chair came down to the same level as everyone, but it was still bigger,
Speaker 1: Um, coordinate. Little by little, we've we've started to approach the table as a place where equals meet to dine, and I think that's a sort of a spirit and an aesthetic to continue to look for creating around your table and sort of awkwardly. If the head of the table starts to be a disadvantaged position because it's isolated, it's apart. Doesn't connected to everyone else. Assigning a guest to it feels a little counter productive. In some ways,
Speaker 2: that was my other concern. But like we said, we liked the idea. If your table is so large and your guest list is small, that that could bring people together by
Speaker 1: eliminating those heads. But
Speaker 1: avoid the coming from America breakfast scene?
Speaker 2: Yes, exactly.
Speaker 2: I know this has been a really long conversation, and, as always, Dan and I could continue to talk about, like good table seating practices and all the wonderful characters that Emily used to talk about being around the table and what it would be like to die next to them. She has a fabulous section on it,
Speaker 2: but unfortunately we're gonna have to leave the rest of it for another time. But I thought this was this was really fun to kind of etiquette. Geek out on seating charts,
Speaker 2: small matters, but they are important when they show whether or not your habits of etiquette are correct. Betty's confidence is shaken a bit, and she has doubts of her correctness. Should she have preceded her guests into the room? Is she directing them to their places properly?
Speaker 2: Should Betty have used place cards?
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world. And that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from Linda.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I have an etiquette salute for a stranger in a sushi restaurant.
Speaker 1: It's one of those places where you sit around a revolving sushi bar. But if you want to order something else, you have to get the attention of the workers behind the bar.
Speaker 1: While I was eating with my husband, I noticed a woman across the bar desperately trying to get someone's attention. But she was so quiet, I don't think any of them could hear her. I felt so bad. I was about to go over and try to help. Luckily, a man closer to her stepped in to get a workers' attention for her. It was just nice to see a stranger helping out a fellow human.
Speaker 1: Thanks for the show.
Speaker 1: Linda
Speaker 2: Linda. I love it, and it's like observational etiquette. Salute like I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing
Speaker 1: this.
Speaker 1: And I hope you enjoyed the sushi.
Speaker 2: Mm.
Speaker 2: And thank you for listening
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us something. And everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 2: Please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family and co workers
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Speaker 1: Connecticut. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd.
Speaker 2: Thanks. And good luck, Bridget. On your
Speaker 1: travels.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.